Cambridgeshire volunteers first winners of new award

When Cambridgeshire libraries put out a call for volunteers a couple of years ago, both the Library Service and the Friends were delighted with the numbers of people who came forward. At Rock Road Library, people come to help with gardening, reading with children, giving talks, and telling stories. I’ve seen people of all ages taking part, from the under-8s to the over-80s.

Now the willingness of local people to get stuck in with supporting these great community services has been recognized with a special award.

Cambridgeshire’s Library and Archive Service has been presented with the Five Star Focus Award for its volunteering programme by Volunteering, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a partnership of Volunteer Centres.

Not only that, but the Library & Service is the first winner in the county.

Cambridgeshire Libraries, and Archives have a wide range of valuable volunteers of all ages – from Computer Buddie and Rhymetime Assistants to the Library at Home service.

Anyone interested in a volunteering opportunity with Cambridgeshire Libraries and Archives can find out more on the Cambridgeshire County Council website, at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/community.htm

Easter events at Rock Road Library

The Friends of Rock Road Library are holding an Easter Egg Event in the Library Garden this morning, Saturday, March 23, 10-11am. Children can try different Easter craft challenges, and play the detective in an Easter egg hunt, solving clues as they go, and going home with fair trade chocolate eggs.

People of all ages are invited to join a Gardening Party 11-12, to get the garden ready for spring. The Rock Road Library Garden was developed by the Friends, and is a community enterprise. No expertise required, refreshments are provided, and a warm glow is guaranteed.

Books for sunflower growers, gold medals for readers!

the winning sunflower with its victory garland

On Saturday,  I enjoyed taking part in two prizegiving ceremonies at Rock Road Library, where prizes and awards were given to young readers and gardeners.

The Friends of Rock Road Library have run a Sunflower Competition for local children. Back in March, children planted the sunflowers in the library garden, which is maintained by the Friends. The grower of the best ones was awarded a prize in the form of a signed book by celebrated local children’s author Martin Jenkins.

Martin’s books include “Grandma Elephant’s in Charge”, “Chameleons Are Cool”, “Gulliver” (an adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels), and the “Time Book: A brief history from lunar calendars to atomic clocks”.  He will be there this Saturday to give out prizes.

The second awards ceremoney was for the Summer Reading Challenge, run by the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Library Service. Local children joined with other youngsters not only all over the UK but across the world — a great international event for this Olympics year. Over 20 children between 4 and 11 who had met the target of reading six books over the school holidays received gold medals and certificates.

The Friends of Rock Road Library support the work of the library and arrange community events to support it. The Friends originally came into being to create a garden at the back of the library. They have supported the library throughout the period of threatened cuts to its funding, campaigning to keep open this vital community facility.

Amanda Taylor: Your Liberal Democrat candidate in Queen Edith’s

Amanda standing for re-election

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Amanda Taylor is standing for re-election in Queen Edith’s. Amanda has been in Queen Edith’s for nearly twenty years and represented the area on Cambridge City Council since 1994. She lives in Holbrook Road with her husband Ashley, and their eight-year old son, a Morley Memorial pupil.

Amanda is best known for her work on transport and housing. Her biggest achievements have been Dunstan Court on Wulfstan Way, which replaced Labour’s sub-standard sheltered housing accommodation; and improved bus services, following her campaign for improved reliability. ‘When I first came to live here,’ says Amanda, ‘there were just two buses an hour into town from Hills Road – and they didn’t always come on time. Now there are over twenty buses an hour, and bus usage has increased dramatically.’

More recent successes for Amanda and the Lib Dem Focus Team include revamped play facilities at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground and new lighting and paving outside the shops on Wulfstan Way. They have also got the police to monitor parking outside schools.

Amanda is currently campaigning for improvements to cycleways in the area, for example lighting the Guided Bus cycleway, and for road safety improvements, eg yellow lines on junctions near the Queen Edith’s Primary School.

She is an active member of the Friends of Rock Road Library, which started as a gardening group and then took on a campaigning role in the fight to prevent the Conservative County Council from closing the library down.

In our wider community, Amanda chairs the Council’s South Area Committee, is a member of St John’s Church on Hills Road, and is a member of the Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group.

Amanda and Lib Dem team visit residents in Queen Edith’s all through the year, not just at election time. When there are issues in a particular street, we always try to listen to the concerns of residents. At election time we try to call on as many households as we can, and we look forward to speaking to you soon, if we haven’t already! The BBC came to see us in action on Tuesday: see here.

Please see the link on the left for this year’s Liberal Democrat election manifesto for Cambridge.